Dealing With Insurance Companies After A Car Accident
While an auto accident can be one of the most traumatizing experiences to go through, the second most difficult phase is dealing with insurance companies after an accident. It is common for insurance adjusters to attempt to contact you shortly after the accident to settle your insurance claim. The following are important factors you should consider when dealing with insurance companies after you have been in a car accident.
1. All insurance adjusters are skilled and qualified negotiators.
Insurance adjusters can often come across as friendly, perhaps even concerned on your behalf. While an insurance representative can be genuinely concerned, they are not employed to care for your wellbeing. An insurance adjuster is there to protect the best interests of his or her company. They will attempt to minimize any insurance claims in order to pay out the least amount as possible. Unfortunately, they will also often deny a claim or even avoid recognizing the full extent of a case.
2. Insurance firms are not required to treat you quickly or even fairly.
If you have been a victim of an auto accident and are then seeking to file a claim against the perpetrator’s insurance company, this insurance company will often attempt to delay the process of your claim. This is also true regardless of whether the other driver is proactively cooperating with the matter.
3. Usually the first offer is not the best one for you.
When you have received an initial offer to settle a claim, try not to accept the offer. Initial offers are notoriously known to not be the most fair offer for an individual’s claim. Unfortunately, after a car accident, most victims will be in need of his or her restitution due to the inability to work, loss of transportation, or costly medical bills. Insurance companies are well aware of this and will attempt to use this to their advantage. They will attempt to get the victim to settle the accident claim quickly to minimize their payout. Accepting the settlement quickly could be a huge mistake as you may not know how severe your injuries are. You might end up in a bind with your medical bills if you accept the first offer.
4. Insurance companies will attempt to avoid paying out medical expenses.
While attempting to reduce the settlement offer, insurance companies will often suggest that you are being dishonest about your grievances or that you are attempting to commit fraud. Insurance companies can often proclaim that the injuries you sustained in the car accident were part of a preexisting condition. This can especially happen if you chose not to seek medical treatment immediately after the accident. In the event that you did follow proper procedure and sought medical treatment promptly, keep copies of all of your medical records so that you may provide proof of treatment if it is necessary. Also, be sure to follow up on your medical treatments. Not attending all appointments can appear as if you chose not to be treated.
5. Watch what you say to insurance adjusters.
Unbeknownst to many auto accident victims, insurance adjusters will take anything you say and use it against you. This includes any words or phrases you did not mean to say. If you do not accurately represent yourself, insurance adjusters can use that against you. Be sure not to give any recorded statements, agreements, or signatures. Consult with a personal injury attorney before you do to ensure that you are being fairly represented and that your needs are being met.
6. Do not sign anything unless you are confident that you comprehend what you are signing or have otherwise had an attorney review it.
Regrettably, almost all insurance companies will attempt to deceive claimants. They will use every trick they are lawfully allowed to use to undermine your claim as best as possible. One of the most common tactics that just about every insurance company uses involves fine print in their contracts. Without reading the entire contract and by signing documents, you may be unwillingly forfeiting some of your rights. This can cause extreme damage to you, especially if your injuries prove to be greater than what you had initially expected. By seeking the professional advice of an experienced attorney, you may prevent an insurance company from taking advantage of you.
If you have been a victim in a car accident, do not rely on the insurance company to take care of you and your interests. To ensure that you have the best possible outcome on your insurance claim, contact a professional attorney. He or she can champion for your rights and take care of all negotiations on your behalf while you are dealing with insurance companies after an accident. An experienced attorney can advocate on your behalf and make sure that you receive the full compensation you are owed, not the minuscule settlement the insurance company will attempt to offer you.